that does it for us. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> if it's friday, will town ha hall argue today? tonight, rhapsody in blue. why the dischord on the right is music to democrats' ears as both sides look the next week to find out what next year's mid terps may look like. plus, warning shot. what do we really know about that mother of all bombs? it was dropped on afghanistan. was it more of a message for
north korea or was there actual tactical importance? and life imitates art. how showtime's hopeland predicts president trump's struggles. >> as he escalated war with the intelligence community, we were drop jawed. that's what we had been shooting. >> that's right. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. good evening. i'm chuck todd in washington. this is "mtp daily." much of the focus hack overseas and lawmakers have a reprieve from washington. but plenty are feeling the heat at home and it is not a great time to be a republican. remember this moment from 2009? >> the reforms will i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
>> that was south carolina republican joe wilson. he got a bit of his own medicine this week. constituents chanted back at him for an answer he gave on violence against women. >> it's not just conservative republicans lying wilson feeling the heat at home. moderate republicans were booed while answering questions at town halls this week and taking positions in line with president trump. >> environmental policy ought to be integrated with trade boss. that they ought to be -- >> i think mayor garland was a great man and a good judge. but what happened in the senate
last year you may not have liked it but it was not without precedent. >> look, town halls are just people talking. it could be the start of some momentum for the democrats. their candidate jason thompson performed better than expected, just 7 points short. in a location that trump carried by 27 points. plenty of reasons including sam brownback. i could be the first signs of socioeconomic demographics catching up to the truch coalition. thompson did his best in areas that had a higher percentage of high college educated voters relative to the rest district. of course, the test to see if it will realign is next week's sixth district. 58% have a bachelor's degree or
higher. of the top ten most educatedy by degree, not just educated but by degree, it is the only one of the top ten that was occupied by a republican to start this year. and democrat john it's ossoff is flirting with the victory in the polls. it doesn't look line he'll get there but obviously will be the top vote getter. failure to make things close in the georgia six could be an indication that the trump skoegs immune to this of the we've you a got georgia on my mind right now. so let's turn to jim, you've been down this rodeo before. first let's talk about whether ossoff can get to 50%. i've looked at the voting stats. it doesn't look likely. anything on the ground tell you differently? >> it is still possible but actually, the signs on the ground are saying no.
we've got a couple of local tv stations, one shows him at 42%. the better one conducted by mark groundtree puts him at 45%. that's the highest we've seen him be. so it is, seeing him get 50% plus is a little bit of a reach. but you know as well as do i that special elections are hard to pull, congressional elections are hard to pull. >> this is top two regardless of party. the libertarians, this isn't a case where the leading libertarian gets a third place on the ballot in a june round. >> these the top two vote getters. right now, it looks like karen handle could have the second berth. but it could be dan moody or bob gray. >> it is funny you bring this up. i want to play this new clubor
growth ad. it is a back and forth between two republicans at this the point. nobody is touching the democrats. >> dan moody, karen handel. two of a kind. two politicians with tax and spend records. moody did it too. voting for $2 billion in higher taxes and fees to benefit a utility company. now they're running for congress. >> that's club for growth. we know that there is a trump aligned super pac that's hitting handel on this. so who is benefiting the most from this outside spending? >> right now probably ossoff. what you've got is two elections here. you've got groups like the congressional leadership fund, paul ryan's outfit. attacking ossoff and trying to keep him under 50%. then you've got three
republicans really, four if you count judson him, scrambling for that single spot in the run-off. and right now, club for growth has settled on bob gray as the most, i guess, trumplike of the candidates. you have david purdue, the u.s. senator, also allied that trump, dan moody. and both are gunning for karen handel. in my mind, if you're a republican, that's who would you want to see ossoff matched against in an anti-trump campaign. she will hold on to republican women. >> in a way that you don't think the candidates -- if you're a democrat, the candidate you least want to face is karen handel. >> i think so. if it was bob gray, an unknown local ci councilman til a few weeks ago, he is hard core
on immigration. you can run an anti-trump campaign that might work in the middle of june. we have a situation with dan moody can. he will probably be the republican establishment candidate. but he also cast a vote several years ago that allowed georgia power here to charge had in advance for two nuclear plants that are in really serious trouble. >> te'o ask you, we're showing clips from one of the debates. ebl there have been two televised 18-person debates. i'm sorry. it seems ridiculous. is it as ridiculous as it seems paper? did you learn anything? >> it was a very long one. the one i participated in could have been a train wreck. people behaved themselves. the take 18 and divide it by 120 minutes and you don't get much time.
>> it makes me long for the personal presidential debates. >> talk to you soon. >> you got it. let me bring in the panel. let me bring them in. it seems like there's renewed concern among republicans here in washington watching what happened. they got there in time to solve the disaster. they can't figure out, other than that, they can't figure out what to do next. >> that's absolutely true. in a weird way, i think the democratic candidate has been high more high profile than the candidate in kansas and i think that hurt him. >> the republicans, he's young, he has garnered a lot of
atntion and i think that has alarmed republicans and they have gone into georgia now. and it hurt them, have been, that there are 11 candidates but i think it will prevent him from getting to that 50% thresh hold. the grassroots enthusiasm has undercut the probability he is going on get to that 50% and went outright in the race. >> i have two jennifers here so i'm going with last names. palmieryi. better for the democrats nationally if ossoff could went outright now? or does that show more strength? >> it would be harder to went the second time if there's a run-off. but it will be difficult to win on tuesday and it will be difficult on went in the run-off. the fact that it is, i mean, the fact pits high profile, it speaks to the amount of
enthusiasm. >> a double edged sword. >> yes. i would love to win this race but even if the democrats don't went the race, i think it has shown the enthusiasm continues. it is national and it is in the south and i think that is what, if write a republican, that would concern me and not whether or not in this one particular race, somebody gets 50% on tuesday. >> i was going to say, jennifer ruben. a fine first name and a fine sandwich. the republicans breathe a sigh of relief and say we can weather this storm if they narrowly eke out a seat that they held for basically two decades, or should they already, is the fact like they're having to fight for kansas. it doesn't matter win or lose. >> i think it is theatter and you've seen the sense of
desperatio they ran a comical ad. it wasn't meant to be comical but it was. >> and then comparing him, tying him in some convoluted fashion to al jazeera. so there is an element of desperation here. i think republicans are beginning to wake up to the possibility the house is at risk in 2018. it is not that many seats. traditionally you lose a lot of seats. trump has not delivered in a lot of ways that he promised. and as you said, for sort of main street republican who kind of held their nose, they voted for trump because they couldn't bring themselves to vote for hillary. that person may say, wait, this was a bad idea. this guy really is as bad as they say. >> i see it a little differently. this school district suburban, affluent, it went for george w. bush and mitt romney by about 25 points. trump carried it only by 1.5
points. it is an anti-trump district in terms of republican districts. if democrats going on went back the house they have to pick up districts like this. >> it is a must-win. i don't think gates wave for 2018 of. >> i take little exception to that. i think the people at risk the 23 republicans sitting in districts that hillary clinton won. democrats have figured out who they are early on. a couple of them made the horrendous mistake of voting for it in committee. >> there's some parch, the question is, is it trump-related or just part of realignment catching up. remember, northern suburbs realign toward democrats. the southern cities.
>> birmingham. >> i think that in some ways, we saw in the presidential election is less of a question about left and right and open versus close. people who think we should engage and people who want to shut the world out. i think it is both but i would still, yes. the people had are engaged in the world, aligning with the democrats. >> before i let you go, before we get off this topic. i have to play this, mark wayne mullen who before this week, i had known for basically the fittest guy in the house. p-90 x times 100. but listen to this and change and i wonder how much of a problem this is. here it is of the. >> you said you would pay for me to do this. i paid enough taxes before i ever got there and ten to pay my salary. this is a go service. no one here pays me to go. i do it. i'm just saying -- this is a
service for me. not a career of and i thank god it isn't. i have before. i've paid it back. here's the deal on this one, guys. i'm going 42 weeks out of year and i do my best to serve you guys. but there's it's some facts you either want to hear our don't of the. >> there's part of me, i get his frustration, perhaps. perhaps you can't. some things belong in the thought bubble. i understand the argument he's making. but buddy, these are your voters. it adds an arrogance aspect. >> this is exactly what the republicans used when they took back the house. when they were campaigning. the other thing thaty're setting their sights are these
republican who's refuse to do town halls now. they stake out their offices, their homes, they accuse them of hiding from the voters. >> of you a peep, who people who know i'm very sympathetic to things falling out of peep's mouth that they don't mean. if you're a representative of a congressman, a senator, a president, you should know that taxpayers pay your salary. and i think the white house is confronting this now. they announce that had they are not going to make public the visitors logs to the white house. i think the taxpayers have a right to know who the president is meeting with. >> that's true. and it is too bad, i wish the obama administration had done all of the transparency on this. and there would be higher ground to be on here. >> how could the obama administration not be on high ground? >> it is a slippery slope of. >> it is never enough for you
people. >> you can't use the word fully trans parent if there are exceptions to people who would be interested in the logs. oh, no. we'll only tell you the people that we know aren't controversial. >> i myself spent plenty of times arbitrating a lot of discussions about peep with the white house press core. >> i'm apparently two and a half minutes heavy. i'm in trouble. coming up, afghanistan, aftershocks of what we know and what we don't. and later, life imitating art imitating life. mandy can patniken joins me on the current state of affairs and "homeland."
costs of the 2016 election. the races tallied up to, are you ready? show me those numbers. a whopping $6.5 billion. with a b, of course. the presidential primaries were $2.4 billion of that number of adjusted for inflation, it is actually a bit lower than 2008. that shouldn't surprise you. donald trump didn't spend the type of money that previous nominees spent. hillary clinton outspent the trump campaign 2-1. president trump changed the rules. so to translate these numbers, into what it will look like in 2020. we can tell you on the congressional level, you will probably see more money than ever before. are allergies holding you back?
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strikes on isis. the target was an isis compound in the nangarhar province but serious questions remain about the decision behind the strike. when asked about the mission, what did donald trump mean when he told reporters that he gave the military total authorization. those permissions already existed from the obama era. er up to 1,500 isis fighters are concentrated in that reasoning although others say closer to 800 cox pair that to the 25,000 taliban fighters in that area. and it was this bomb needed for a mission of this nature or was it more of a symbolic decision. meanwhile, tensions seem to be boiling over in pyongyang. they are claiming a big event to celebrate the anniversary of the founder. er the white house is sending vice president pence to show support to south korea, our ally there.
and both the u.s.er saying it will support. let me start with the decision in afghanistan. why that weapon? if this was to get tons, and i asked this as a did he have's advocate here was, this the best weapon to get to the tunnels? or did they want to show symbolism here? >> i'm not a factor of single factor analysis. it could be both. i think trump is very lucky in his timing. they tried with other weapons to knock out that tunnel complex. it has been under construction and occupied for a long, long time. they tried ground attacks in support of oer weapons and that didn't work either. this is a very efficient way of knocking out that complex. it just so happens that it came at a time when xi has just gone back to china and it is now kim
il-sung's birthday. i couldn't have come at a better time. but militarily it was a good weapon to use. >> it is interesting, we know about north korea in the owed tradition of the soviet union, they love to use these anniversaries to puff out their chest a little bit, try to do a test. was this the americans' way of saying, you want to show off? let us show you what we're capable of. remember what our arsenal looks like. >> well. i would say yes if it was president trump who made the decision. but he delegated the authority to make decisions like that to battlefield commanders. there's a four star general who decided to use that and that really didn't have as big a political component as it would, had trump itself made the decision. so it just so happened it came at exactly the right time. and we'll see whether it has a positive effect. i think it already has had a
positive effect on the way in which china and the united states work or may work together with respect to north korea. >> you know, i am curious on the other aspect of this. which is the delegation to the military commanders. you talk to a lot of these guys. look, obviously they have more leeway than they had under president obama. but he started to give them more leeway. do they feel as if that leeway is there? or are there still some constraints that they feel on them? >> they do have constraints. certain weapons can't used under certain circumstance and they have to go to higher levels and perhaps the president of the united states to make those decisions bust yes, they do feel less could not strain asked therefore more able to react to battlefield conditions. >> is there a point that you
think they have too much leeway? when do they have too much leeway? >> when you let them do whatever the heck they want is when they have too much leeway. there have been situations in which that was the case. when i fought in vietnam, the, except for certain circumstances when they were could not b-52 strikes on the trail, they had total authority and they had far too much authority with no super vision or little super vision from the pentagon as to how the war was conduct asked that was a mistake. >> but you think now, are we striking the right balance? or it is too soon to tell? >> i'm glad, that was exactly the word i would use. balance. if you talk to these guys, most of them would till, we have struck the right balance between supervision and the freedom to
use to operate in the theater. they would all like to have more people and more weapons and more authority. but on balance they would say they have the right balance. >> as always, thank you for coming and sharing your views. >> thank you for allowing me to be with you. >> up next, saul berenson. or if you prefer, montoya, all right, his real name, had mandy had patinkin.
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well, tomorrow is april 15th. while last minute tax filers have until tuesday to get their returns into the irs, tax filers are demanding that president trump releases his returns. it is expected to be the biggest political mass mobilization since the january women's march. we'll see if they meet the hype. sean spicer remeted this wee the president is under audit. in my interview with homeland's mandy patinkin right after this. when you have type 2 diabetes, there's a moment of truth.
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as of today we have boots on the ground. like the protesters i had to wade through to get here. does that seem familiar to any of you? because it does to me. >> over six seasons without fail, the show holmland has found a way to stay on the news. this season was not any different. it was even more uncanny. the impact of fake news, and the actor mandy patinkinner seeps to inhabit the role. his work goes far beyond the screen and stage. he's also become a vocal advocate on behalf of refugees of the syrian civil war. through his work the international rescue committee and it is work that he sort of came to by studying for his role "homeland." i sat down with him this week on the topic.
joining me now is actor mandy patinkin. for so many, you're saul berenson. i used the show a couple times in the last few weeks because of the explanation of fake news happened almost simultaneously with the testimony in front of congress about how the russians create fake news. did you realize at the time how on the news -- you're supposed to be on the news but did you realize during the taping how on the news you were? >> we didn't. we were in the middle of shooting episode 5 west thought there would be a female president. so we had to change narrative. the writers went back to the writer's room and started making adjustments. in terps of the sock puppets in the box, that story was already in but it wasn't going to be shown and introduced until episode 8.
we were shooting 5. and everything was changed and we introduced it immediately. what i thought was for me, a fascinating season, but all the characters and you know, i don't mean to disparage any of our incredible company. the two most fascinating character that's came to the top of the surface for me were the two characters of fake news and truth. that became the lives we are all living then and now. >> you even mod heed info wars. you sort of found a character, theon missing ingredient was foreign power of. >> yeah, with i think the intrusion of the eleion is right in the "homeland" wheel house in terps of the election process. and it is my guess, i can't imagine that will die overnight and i have a good strong feeling that we'll be revisiting that in future seasons. >> you said the writers, you had
a female president. was the plot line, the general plot line going to be the same? you basically had a part of national security, the military industrial complex was not going to tolerate an anti-war president? >> that was there from day one. the first episode we shot was the fact the president-elect was meeting and essentially wanted to make war with the intelligence community. and then we turned on the evening news and there was a president making war the intelligence community. actually, the president-elect and then the president escalated that war. and after the election, we thought we were irrelevant initially. until all of a sudden the world started, you know, continuing. as he escalated the war with the intelligence community, we were drop jawed. that's what we were shooting. >> what advice do you get
playing real intelligence people? do you participate? >> do i. i'll be coming back for five days where we meet with virtually everyone that you can imagine in the intelligence community, including people in the media, pulitzer prize winning reporters, et cetera. i met extensively with david shed, michael heyden. the list goes on and on and on. and i initially the just want real-time data. when you were, when michael heyden and david shed were doing the intelligence briefings for president-elect bush at the time, whatere the discussions? yeah. i think they can. obama? i can't remember. >> had did he the president-elect. >> i remember he was asking about president obama and michael heyden admitted, we haven't been working on that one for a while. >> so they give me the real-time information. and then i have dinners with
them and i call them all the time. recently i wanted to have conversations with michael ha d heyden and people he hooked me up with. people from the rescue committee, i wanted to understand the vetting process. i was going back to serbia. i wanted to understand the vetting process. the bans that president-elect trump was putting in place and how he and many other people chose to get elected were by telling you to be afraid. ville identifying a peel, the muslim community. >> so this got you into this issue itself. the refugee into it. >> what did? >> you yourself. the more you learned about it. >> the beginning of season five began with the syrian refugee process. and then 125,000 refugees were
makingly the way across the route trying get into europe. i was living in this fictional hell but the real hell was much more frightening and i wanted to connect with reality. the moment i finished shooting, i was on my way to greece and i connected with the people who do this extraordinary work, trying on resettle these people. get them on to freedom and sanctuary and meeting families, women, children, just like our families. just like you and me. and they deeply touched me. and i went back. i took my wife with me this time and i met the most beautiful little children. i met a 10-year-old boy, a little artist. i did thought interview and i went on seoul for the first time of my kids said, dad, you have to get on social media. and i said to this beautiful
little 10-year-old boy, what do you want people to know? what do you want them to know about refugees? i want them to be kind, not just to me, he said, but to refugees everywhere. we need kindness. and that i think now more than ever, given the vulnerability, some of the most vulnerable people in the world. the fact the trump administration, the united states has put their hand in militarily, i think it is the moment that we up the anty. up the game in terms of diplomacy. >> what role do you think you could play in helping de-escalate the fear he? this idea that you bring in pockets. it just takes one infiltrator to ryan the entire program. >> yes. this is where homeland and the real world are one for me. i started to say earlier, it is false information. it is not the truth in terms of how you get elected. the owldest trick in the book.
it was cowboys and indians, now it is a community who has changed the world. >> we have taken responsibility, in season six, we've tried to be part of cure. not part of problem. >> a different story line. we're helping these people and a story line that shows in this year, this season, maybe, that it is the white men i government and the military establishment that are the bad gu. not the muslim community. so back to the issue of how do you get elected, you tell the population, you vote for me. i'll keep you safe. let's just put some facts on the table, please god. and i've learned these and studied them with michael heyden and other people. i want people to know. it is the gift i have to give to my fellow countrymen and people around the world.
the facts are that the muslim people are our gift. the fabric of what makes america great. in terms of the election, since 1975, over 3 million refugees have been reset in the united states. since 9/11, over 900,000. not a single terrorist incident has taken place by a refugee settled in the united states. these the safest citizens we have. the vetting process is an 18-month to two-year process. you don't even get in the door until nine different countries feel that you as an individual or a family can make it through this very long lengthy process and the process never stops the rest of the your life. so refugees in the united states of america the safest possible citizens you can say hello to or invite they will into your community of the and i encourage every one to please invite they into their community of the will. >> i don't see why we should go any further. i had somebody seeking aisle emsay, when you get it, it seems like winning the lottery.
that's how hard it is to get asylum. >> thank you for coming in and sharing your passion on this issue. appreciate it. i had a deeper conversation, a longer conversation with him. that will be available on next week's edition of 1947, the "meet the press" podcast. we get he into all sorts of angles of his acting career as well as more on his work with refugees. we'll wrap up the rest headlines just ahead on the lid. care of my portfol, but.. ll, what are you doing tomorrow -10am? staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios. the automated investing solution that lets you focus on your life. there's nothing more than my vacation.me
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welcome back. ahead of this easter weekend i spoke with three religious leaders in america. we started off looking at the idea that i was raised with. that you don't mix religion and politics. these days that seems like the least true thing when it cops to american culture. i started by asking them whether that's a misnoemer that we shoud get rid of. here's a small piece of it. >> it is a misnomer because it suggests that ling ling and politics are separate. you'll have the intermixing of reling i don't thi reling. they're going to connect whether you want them to or not of. >> should we stop fighting? >> i think they're connected is that religion is an internal
thing. and politics is the outworking. i see them very connected of. >> sometimes i wonder if we overfought the phrase. >> you can separate two kinds of politics. partisan politics, electoral politics, one kind of category. what we normally refer to as politics really is interwoven with ling. when we talk about the vulnerable, the poor, we talk about the biblical command to welcome the stranger in our midst, to protect god's crea creation. >> tune in this sunday to "meet the press." we have a power packed schedule. plus senators mccain and reed as well as john kelly. wait until you hear which one of
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time for the lid. our panel is back. all right. andrew sullivan has been writing again. anybody who enjoys good writing and politics, whether you agree with andrew or not, probably enjoys having him back. his latest trying to decipher donald trump, he writes this. you can try to argue that trump has simply pivoted to the center like so many other presidents before him. but the statements he has made in the last six months and the policies he has pursued for the last three have gyrated so wildly, have so little consistent city and make so little sense there is no assurance that in another three months he won't be back to where he started. and it seems to be what everybody is trying to figure out this week. andrew sullivan said, stop trying, don't decipher, just know this is trump being trump. >> i think there is a lot to that. trump is about one thing and it's about trump. he's a narcissist, a textbook narcissist.
so whatever will bring him love, whatever will bring him acclamation, that's what he's for at that moment. he doesn't have any sense that politics is the clip you just played showed, is about values, is about beliefs. it is simply a stage for him to perform and to gain attention. and because of that, i think it is going to be extremely difficult to predict where he is going and what he's going to do. >> jennifer is articulating the real fear among many conservatives who were never on the trump train, the never trumpers that are never trumpers is how jennifer articulated that. careful what he's telling you today, he'll change his mind tomorrow. >> i think that's true. that said, there is a style and an attitude and a range of options that one can do, you know, within a realm of things that would be broadly popular. and i think, yes, trump talked like an isolationist on the campaign trail. i wasn't among the people who
thought he would behave, really, as an isolationist because his attitude and his posture is more one of strength that aligns i think more closely with the hawkish attitudes -- i actually think it's one that attracted republican voters to him. >> you know, it's interesting, jennifer, there is that line, it's like, look, the most effective two-term presidents if you look at their popularity are the ones that found ways to pivot to the center, or to move awayrom their bases at interesting times. ll clinton was clever at it at interesting times. >> i never forgot how he was elected. >> both bush and obama had a ceiling, that was it. >> obama had a two-term presidency and a high approval rating. >> the ceiling without moving as much. >> trump didn't get elected by appeasing the republican establishment. he seems to be about the last person he talked to and now he tends to surround himself with a lot of goldman sachs and a lot of manhattan people that look
like democrats when it comes to some issues. >> right. >> but, you know, he didn't get elected by saying i'm flexible. he got elected by saying i'm going to do -- i do what i say i'm going to do. and the first part of the 100 days -- >> and he did that. >> but that's not -- >> don't you think some people heard that, though? >> i think some people heard that, but what was different, what separated him from jeb bush and marco rubio and everybody else in the republican field, and what i actually think brought him to the white house is the hard core supporters who said -- who heard, who heard the, you know, the muslim ban, the building the wall, repeal and replace obamacare, that's what they heard and that's what made him different. he is behaving like, you know, h.w. bush right now. meanwhile -- >> he's behaving like a conventional washington politics. >> meanwhile, he's on the left. planned parenthood, you know, sessions, very aggressive again on the border.
chris christie and you're looking to blame him for anything that goes wrong even if he had absolutely nothing to do it, here's your chance. you can blame chris christie for the brutal way united airlines forced a passenger off its plane this week. not really. he's not responsible for the incident, but here's the six degrees of difference in this incident. munoz replaced jeffrey, once called king of the skies. he had to resign because he had approved an arrangement to resurrect a money-losing flight from newark to columbia, south carolina. why did they resurrect that flight? because it was part of a deal with this man, david samson head of the port of authority in new york and new jersey. sam sun had to resign over his role in the closing of the washington bridge. bridge gate scandal. didn't take us six moves. he demanded the flight near his south carolina home to upgrade. who hired david samson? chris christie, of course. if you completely totally
unfairly want to blame chris christie, you can for united's latest public relations crisis. guess what, united wouldn't have the currency ceo it has if it wasn't for bridge gate. pretty much of a reach but hey it's friday. that's all for tonight. remember, tongue firmly planted in cheek. for the record with greta starts now. chris is in. kevin bacon of scandals. go for it. >> thank you, chuck todd. i am chris in for greta. will the u.s. strike north korea? the country is preparing to celebrate the day of the sun, the 105th day of the country's founder and current leader kim jong-un's grandfather. those celebrations are traditionally marked with a show of force, and in a new interview, north korea's vice foreign minister warning president trump, telling the a.p., we will go to war if they choose. those comments after nbc news exclusively reported the u.s. is prepared to launch a strike agnsno